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by Steve Fryer
Photo Credit: Keith Birmingham

Winning CIF Southern Section championships is an enjoyable accomplishment for any track and field athlete.

The elite ones like Servite’s Max Thomas, who won CIF-SS Division 3 titles in the 100 and 200 meters Saturday at Moorpark High School, are not yet satisfied.

“It feels good,” Thomas said, “but the main goal is state.”

That would be the CIF State Championships that will be held in Clovis on May 27-28.

The athletes with the top nine performances — in most events — Saturday at the CIF-SS Finals, regardless of division, advance to next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet at Moorpark High. The top 12 performers in the 800 meters, plus the 1,600, 3,200 and all of the field events, also advance to the Masters Meet, which is the qualifying meet for the state meet.

Thomas won Division 3’s 100 and 200 finals for the second year in a row on a hot and windy day for the athletes and teams trying to compete for championships in four divisions.

Thomas, who signed with USC, won the Division 3 100 in a wind-aided time of 10.35 seconds, beating out Chaminade’s Patrick Ize-Iyamu Jr. (10.38).

Two races later, Los Alamitos freshman Devin Bragg won the Division 1 100 in 10.35. The Bragg and Thomas times of 10.35 are the best 100 mark in Orange County this season under all conditions.

Thomas’ wind-aided 10.37 was the all-conditions best going into the CIF-SS finals, and he has the county’s wind-legal best time of 10.40 this season.

Bragg and Thomas both set school records Saturday in the 100.

Thomas later won the 200 in 20.68 to tie the Division 3 finals record.

“My 100 has a ton of room for improvement, which I’m happy about,” Thomas said. “And the 200, I felt good about that.”

No Orange County teams won team CIF-SS championships Saturday. A few teams came close.

Mater Dei’s 58 team points in boys Division 2 fell just short of division champion Long Beach Jordan’s 60 points.

JSerra’s girls scored 75 points in Division 3 to finish third behind Calabasas (80) and Harvard-Westlake (79 points). Servite totaled 62.5 points in Division 3 to finish second to Cathedral (74).

Servite senior Jared Steins went wire-to-wire to win the Division 3 1,600 in 4:17.80. He was challenged throughout by William Kirk of Palos Verdes (4:18.12). Steins will begin attending MIT in the fall.

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